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2019: APC, coalition of political parties tango over Atiku, Buhari in Ekiti

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ATIKU

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Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti

A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), and former aspirant for the House of Representatives, Ekiti South constituency 1, Makinde Araoye, and a coalition of bigwigs from several political parties in Ekiti State, have traded tackles on the presidential candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While Araoye assured that President Muhammadu Buhari would win the 2019 Presidential poll in spite of odds the opposition parties have claimed are against him, members of the APC, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Party, (ADP) and Labour Party (LP) in the state have drummed support for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, who are presidential candidate of the PDP and running mate respectively.

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Araoye, who was speaking during a get together with his supporters from across the south senatorial district of the state, which he had organised after he was asked to step down for another aspirant for peaceful co existence, said he was sure that President Buhari would win the 2019 Presidential poll because of his intimidating performance and the claim that none of the presidential candidates from other parties could match him.

His words, “President Buhari has began something revolutionary which no other past administration has done.

“He has been fighting the corruption war quite well and has been providing infrastructures as well as jobs for Nigerians, so I am sure he will win in 2019 in spite of all odds against him.”

But reacting, the coalition, which described themselves as ‘Yar Adua political family’ and ‘Friends of Atiku’ from the 16 Local Government Areas of the state, spoke through their leader, Ajewole, saying: ” Atiku is not only a rugged politician, he is also a successful businessman and knows how to run businesses and institutions and getting positive results.

“He is also the type who surrounds himself with brilliant minds and who listens to and takes wise counsel.

“He knows the pains Nigerians are currently experiencing and he is not going to be President by accident. He is very much prepared for the task ahead.

“His call for restructuring is not a matter of lip service. He knows it is a potent measure needed to really actualise the potential of our dear country and for it to take its pride of place in the comity of nations.”

Ajewole said those accusing Atiku of corruption were only chasing shadows, challenging them to bring any evidence they have to the public domain.

“Atiku’s traducers are only crying wolves where there is none. He has been investigated a number of times and was never indicted.

“Only few days ago, he was honoured by the American Government. This is somebody they are accusing of being banned by the same government,” he noted.

Speaking about the reason why he chose to throw a party for his supporters in spite of losing the party’s ticket, Araoye said: “We just finished a campaign for the seat of House of Representatives.

“We ran a very hectic energetic and successful campaign and throughout this journey, I met a lot of people who overwhelmingly supported my ambition but along the way I was advised by the leadership of the party to withdraw for the sake of peace but a lot of my supporters were angry with that development and l thought that l should let them realise that it does not mean it is all over.

“It has been an emotional moment for me as this is just my first time of coming out to vie for the seat and I am overwhelmed by the huge support of our people.

“So, I am using this opportunity and this occasion to appreciate them.”

READ ALSO: Kaduna crisis: SOKAPU demands probe, corpses for burial

Assuring the supporters of working with Governor Kayode Fayemi for their benefit, he said, “I had a conversation with His Excellency I have a very cordial relationship with him and I know he has the best interest in whatever l do and he has assured me that I will work closely with his government and that message I have sent to our people that we would not be left out of the government of Governor Fayemi.

“We have been part of the party’s success and we will enjoy it.’

In  a meeting held at Iroko-Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area of the state to mobilise support for Atiku’s candidacy which was attended by the convener, Bode Ajewole, former member, House of Reps, Sikiru The Lawal, a former deputy governor, (coordinator), Bode Ola, immediate past chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Tunji Odeyemi, former Speaker of Ekiti House of Assembly,  Kehinde Odebunmi, former House of Representatives member, Jeje, member House of Representatives, Adunni Olayinka, former deputy speaker,  Segun Adewunmi,  former PDP state chairman, and Bola Ojo among others, the group expressed confidence that Atiku will get Nigeria out of the current economic downturn if elected the President in 2019.

The group also said restructuring, especially fiscal federalism that Atiku is championing, will not hurt any part of the country, but will allow for speedy economic development of the country as a whole.

Ajewole described the chance of Atiku winning the presidential election as very bright, adding that the Atiku project was beyond the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that is fielding him as its candidate.

“It today’s meeting and in this project are members of the All Progressives Congress, the Labour Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Action Democratic Congress and many political parties and stalwarts too numerous to mention,” he added.

Ajewole opined that Nigerians were tired of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC and would vote them out next year.

He admonished Buhari to let the will of the people matter and not soil his image and that of Nigeria with election ringing.

Also speaking, former Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Dr. Sikiru Tae Lawal, said the fact that only few people were invited but that the venue was jam packed with participants showed that Atiku’s acceptance was wide.

“This is an idea whose time has come. God is involved. This is a divine project. We are all one and equal in this project.

“The issue is beyond being a PDP member. We are ready for the task ahead,” he stated.

Lawal charged participants to go home and make as many people as possible supporters of Atiku.

 

 

 

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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